Shoebox appeal hits 30,800

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MORE than 30,800 gift-filled shoeboxes from across Lincolnshire are heading for vulnerable children in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania and Ukraine as part of Operation Christmas Child, one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects.

The shoeboxes have been donated by individuals, schools, businesses, churches and organisations located in communities including Bourne and Spalding.

Teams of volunteers in the Operation Christmas Child processing centres at Boston, Grantham, Grimsby and Peterborough have worked long hours collecting, checking and loading the shoeboxes for transportation.

Lincolnshire Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, Keith Gibbons, said: “It’s tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people.

“Everyone who has donated a shoebox can be certain it will have a positive impact on the child who receives it.

“These children often receive nothing else at Christmas and many are living in really difficult situations, ranging from street shelters or orphanages to children’s homes or hospital. Some do live with their families but even then we see children living in very harsh conditions, simply because the families are so poor.”